CC Radio: Less local programming = more local PSAs


Clear Channel also announced establishment of new “minimum level of service” for all of its communities. It deals with efforts in five areas: charitable partnerships, PSAs, local public-affairs programming, local advisory boards, and 24/7 access to station management for local officials.

These new additions build on the array of audience-engagement programs already in place at many of CC’s local stations. Expanded charitable partnerships will be determined at both the local and national level, and will in some cases extend to national PSAs.

Clear Channel has already forged long-standing and extensive relationships with a number of vital organizations operating locally, including the Ad Council, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The initiative includes significant increases in on-air PSAs and its intention to invite local community leaders and citizens to submit information for future PSAs. Moving forward, PSAs will be required multiple times a day, throughout all day parts. That will total a minimum of 12 minutes a day and 84 minutes per week.

In addition the company will choose one national cause to be highlighted companywide each quarter for coordinated campaigns. The first national campaign will support Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity.

CC Radio plans expansions and improvements for local public affairs programming. Improvements in the company’s weekly public affairs shows include moving to higher-audience time slots and using high-profile local talent during broadcasts to generate more community interest.

CC stations will also be creating short local segments that will run during the week. Ranging from 60 seconds to five minutes, the content, length and placement of the segments will be determined by local PDs.

Adding to the direct support of local audiences is an expanded programming commitment to music from local artists. As with the overall new programming initiative mentioned in the related story, select stations will add to existing new-music shows (e.g., urban, some country and some rock), and some stations will also develop customized programs showcasing local artists. In addition, the company will expand its NEW! program for new, local and unsigned artists currently available on hundreds of local-station websites to its mobile broadcasting application, iheartradio.

Taking a previous CC GM’s advice (3/20/09 RBR #55)? CC Radio will also establish Local Advisory Boards in every market it broadcasts (it has had them in some markets since 2004). Led by local station management, Local Advisory Boards bring together community leaders, business owners, listeners and advocacy groups to advise market managers and program directors on community issues, programming concepts and civic opportunities. Also in this vein, a new program enabling 24/7 access to station management – three levels deep – for local officials is set to be implemented market-by-market over the next several months.

RBR/TVBR observation: The local PSA effort is a great idea to help offset the sales downturn in most markets. It will help with localism and local outreach within the community. However, let’s remember paid advertisers are not going to want to be surrounded by PSA clutter and listeners are going to listen more to stations playing content, rather than back to back chatter—so there is a happy medium in there somewhere. Hey, here is a better idea, increase the news department for any cluster. Again it is called creativity.

Related report – Clear Channel putting more Non-Local programming on stations

Publisher note: Let’s get real here on talent. Tell me talent can not be found? Bull.

Related Reports follow the pattern:
4/20/09 – Clear Channel waxes Congress
4/20/09 – Early peek at Clear Channel’s numbers
4/17/09 – The Clear Channel mirror
4/16/-09 – CC Radio: Less local programming = more local PSAs
4/16/09 – Clear Channel putting more Non-Local programming on stations
4/14/09 – Clear Channel adding syndicated programming in local markets